Stewed Beef with tamarind and apricot.

This is a thick and rich beef stew that’s sure to be a crowd pleaser when one is entertaining.

It goes well with many dishes and the leftovers can be great for a sandwich.

The addition of the dried fruits adds a bit of sweetness that blends in well with the other spices used.

You will need:-

1. Stewing Beef 1 kg, cut in medium chunks.

2. One large onion, chopped. One bay leaf.

3. Ginger garlic paste, 1 tbsp

4. Mixed spice blend, 1 tbsp. Divide in half.

5. Honey, a tbsp.

6. Apricots dried 1 cup chopped

7. Tomatoes 3, blended

8. Tamarind paste 1 tbsp

12. Bell pepper, chopped

13. Hot water / stock 2 cups

Method.

Rub beef with some oil and half the mixed spice blend. Rub all over well.

Heat pan and add oil.

Sear beef set aside.

Add oil if needed. Then bay leaf, onions and cook till soft. Add garlic ginger.

Next ground spices mixed well.

These are spices I used to make a spices blend for this dish, as well as a pinch of ground cinnamon.

Add tomatoes and tamarind and bell peppers.

I used some tomato paste too.

Let them cook down well. Return the beef.

I used raisins and apricots; you can chop the apricots too if you wish.

Cook low and slow for an hour then add the dried fruit mix. And some honey.

Add more water if needed.

Cook for another 30 or so minutes, on low, until meat is tender and sauce thick.

The meat is really tender at this point with a lovely aroma.

Check seasoning and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Serve hot over rice and salad on the side.

It makes an excellent main when entertaining or as a family meal. We had ours with some rice, potatoes and salad.
This is my go to beef dish when serving many people. It goes well with other dishes.

Chickpea pilaf.

This is a delicious and flavour full one pot meal that’s tasty, healthy and easy to make.

Chickpeas are rich in nutrients; a great source of protein which is perfect if you don’t want to use meat in the dish. The greens used here (amaranth and spinach) are also great sources of vitamins and protein too.

Colourful and tasty.

I like one pot rice meals such as this as they come together so fast and one can put in what’s available to make a tasty meal.

You will need:-

  • 1 cup of rinsed and drained chickpeas.
  • One large onion, chopped.
  • Two tbsp coconut oil. Or ghee.
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds and one bay leaf.
  • One cup soaked basmati rice.
  • Ginger garlic paste. A tbsp will do.
  • 2tsp ground good quality pilau masala.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Greens of choice ( I bunch will do, chopped).
  • Chopped coriander.
  • 2 cups water or stock.

Method.

  • Heat your pan and add your coconut oil as well as cumin seeds and bay leaf.
  • Once they start sputtering, add onions, cook until starting to brown then add the ginger garlic paste. Mix well. Before adding the pilau masala.
  • Next go in the coriander stalks and the chickpeas, as well as salt and pepper, followed by the chopped greens. I used a mix of amaranth leaves and spinach I had leftover from a previous meal.
  • Add the rice and mix well. Then in goes your stock. Cover and simmer till all the water is drained and rice is cooked through.

Serve with a salad of your choice.

I had mine with a simple tomato cucumber and onion salad.

Perfect for a light dinner, quick lunch and a hit with the kids.

What’s not to love about this beautiful meal?

Coconut Pineapple Pancakes.

These cocopine pancakes are insanely delicious, decadent and made with so much love, each bite is just heaven on your tongue. Don’t believe me? Try them and see.

There is something about coconut and pineapple that reminds one of slow lazy days, sunshine, clear skies and love. Make these for yourself or your loved ones and treat yourselves.

The basic pancake batter is an adaption for a fluffy pancake recipe shared by @nyaranyango on Instagram. I changed it up a bit and made the pancakes Kenyan style, more like thickish crepes than fluffy American style. Then filled them with a simple pineapple and coconut compote that is wickedly delicious.

Ingredients:-

  • 2 1/2 cups self raising flour.
  • 1 heaped tablespoon custard powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup thick coconut milk
  • 1 cup natural yoghurt
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • A pinch of cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup fresh pineapple juice.

For the compote;

  • 1/2 a medium sized ripe pineapple, diced. (Ugandan pineapples are the sweetest and go in so well in this recipe).
  • 1 big lemon, juiced.
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • A small pinch of ground cloves and ground nutmeg.
  • 2 tablespoons Ugandan honey
  • 1 heaped tablespoon coconut flakes, dessicated coconut will work too.
  • A small splash of vanilla.
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch mixed with 1 tbsp water.

Begin with the pancake batter. In a large bowl, add the coconut milk and sugar and whisk together, then add the coconut oil.

Next all the rest of the wet ingredients, the yoghurt, vanilla, egg and whisk well.

Follow this with the custard powder and flour and mix to a smooth thickish batter. The juice and cinnamon go in last. Set aside for a while.

For the compote, aka the pineapple sauce. Keep the heat low as you make it, to avoid burning.

Heat your small sauce pan and add the coconut flakes. Toast them till they start browning a bit, remove and set aside.

In the same pan, add the butter and as it melts, add the honey, lemon juice, and mix well. When it starts simmering, add the diced pineapple and the ground spices, mix well and cover. Let it cook for 15 minutes on low. The pineapples will remove their juice, soften and absorb the spices and lemon and honey slowly.

Once 15 minutes are up, if the compote is too runny for your liking, add the cornstarch and mix well, finish off with the toasted flakes and vanilla and switch off heat.

Let us now get back to our pancakes. I use a non stick pan and do not add oil as I already added it in the batter.

Heat your pan on medium flame, wipe with a kitchen towel and ladle some batter, then swirl it round. When it gets bubbles on the surface, flip and let cook on the other side. I like mine this golden brown colour. Remove from heat with a spatula and keep on a plate lined with kitchen towel. Repeat the same process until all the batter is done.

Now assemble and serve. I usually put the compote in the middle and fold the pancakes into a triangle shape as seen below.

The pancakes are perfect with a cup of ginger tea. Yum!

If you love coconuts and pineapple, these cocopine pancakes are definitely worth a try.

Quickie Meal-Avocado Pasta with Roasted Vegetables

You’ve had a long weekend and Monday is here! You want an easy dinner that will fill your family’s tummies fast.

Pasta will always come to the rescue, my friends. Always a hit with the kids. And the best thing is pasta goes with pretty much anything. Even avocado! And these are in plenty here. Beautiful, big, creamy and delicious!

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius and line the baking tray, gather your veggies. I used courgette, green pepper, onion, butternut and garlic. Chop them in more or less equal pieces. Toss the butternut in olive oil, mixed herbs and salt then bake for about 20 minutes. Toss the other vegetables with olive oil, salt, pepper and dried mixed herbs, you can add some balsamic vinegar to the oil mix if you want. Then add to the butternut and bake for another twenty minutes.

I added some balsamic vinegar and paprika to the oil mixture when tossing the vegetables.

As the veggies bake, you can get started on your pasta. I used spaghetti. Remember the golden rules of making spaghetti. Do not cut! Salt the water! Water should be at a rolling boil before adding the pasta! and whatever other instructions that could be on the pack 🙂

As the spaghetti cooks, you can get started on your ‘pasta sauce’. Blend one ripe avocado, a few almonds, herbs, lemon juice, salt and black pepper, and a tbsp of olive oil. Blend till creamy.

Remember, use what is on hand. This is a very quick meal.
Your vegetables are now ready, I like the colour and flavour the balsamic vinegar adds to them.
Once spaghetti is ready and drained, toss in the creamy avocado ‘sauce’. It gives a lovely tinge to the pasta and get the kids guessing as to what’s in it.
Final plate: Creamy avo spaghetti and roasted vegetables. Yum!